When I moved into the house I live in, it had a garden with no flowers. With the help from my mother and mother-in-law we made a perennial flower bed. Unfortunately, I was more busy taking care of house and children than gardening.
35 years ago, another garden was planted. It was built on a foundation of good vegetables and solid bushes, but there is a lot of weed. I could have removed the stinging nettles and thistles, but I the weed has grown bigger than my shoulders, and I let them sting my ears and forehead. Dandelion flowers are pretty, and my skin has almost got used to the stinging nettles. The weed tells me many stories. You can’t, you must not, you’re not good enough.
I hear the stories so often I begin to believe them. Lie becomes truth, and truth becomes lie. The stories hurt me, but I know them well, and I find it comfortable to get stung by thistles and nettles, and hide myself at feed of the weed, imaging I’m a tiny beetle crawling on the ground. The little beetle wants to dream and explore the world, but it is afraid. It’s afraid of getting outside the weed, because it fears to eaten by a bird of prey. Sometimes I want to kill the weed, but the roots have become giants, and my fingers are not strong enough to remove them.
But I know other stories.
First of all my deepest condolences with the LGBT-community and their families and friends. I’m sorry for your loss.
It is hard to read the news these days, but I can’t say I don’t want to read the news anymore, because I can’t ignore what is happening.
Many people are discussing who was the terrorist, and what were his motives? I don’t know the man. But clearly, he was crazy and evil. His actions were demonic. His evilness came from the devil.
How should we respond as Christians?
1. Seek God
We should seek Jesus with all our heart: Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares theLord (Jer 29:12-14). Jesus is our Lord and savior. We should pray, worship, read the Bible, and attend a Christ-centered church. We must seek Jesus. He will give us the armor of God (Eph 6:10-18)
2. Love our neighbor
Love our Muslim neighbor. We don’t like Islam and we disagree in many ways with the Muslims, but we should love them. We know that Muslims are different, and not all Muslims are terrorists.
Here comes a hard one. We should love the terrorists. We should love our enemy neighbor. We should ask Jesus to help us. Jesus can teach us. We hate the terrorist’s evil actions, but behind the evilness, there is a man, a human being created by God. There is hope. Paul was a prosecutor of Christians, but he met Jesus in a vision and repented and became a a follower of Jesus and an apostle. Scripture guides us how to love our enemies:
Close to me
like a breeze
He makes me alive
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)
I kept seeing the same message. When a message is repeated to me in 4 amazing ways, I must take it seriously.
1. A devotional and illness
The first time I heard the message was in a devotional. A man told about his illnesses and his examinations on a hospital. His reaction to being sick was to be joyful, always praying and always giving thanks. He quoted 1 Thess 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. While I was reading this, I had a time when I was sad and complaining about my life, and I was not able to pray to God for days. I didn’t think further about this verse.
2. My husband and a broken wheelchair
A few days later my husband’s wheelchair was broken. Life became more complicated than usual. One night my husband and I went to bed, and he began to talk. It was as if he preached. He talked about all the good things in our life, all the things we should be grateful for. I listened and said yes. I turned around and closed my eyes while thinking: Yes, but…I’m sad, I’m bored, I wish a lot of things were different, and that the wheelchair was not broken.
One sentence became one word, crawled out of my computer, had wings, flew through my one eye and onwards to the core of my heart. This word was a bug biting me consistently and followed me everywhere. The bug was all I saw. I thought it had bad news for me from everyone: every publisher, reader and every friend. The bug was very real to myself and I was about to become a bug myself. The sentences had become a word, which had become an annoying bug, which name was No. No came to life in an e-mail, which told me the magazine didn’t want to publish any of the eight poems I had submitted. My brain knew why and what it meant, but my eyes only saw the No which attacked my heart. I saw the No vandalize every sentence I had ever written, every word I was writing and every letter I would write in the future. I stopped all my writing projects. The No began to yell at me even in situations which were not writing related, and it grew bigger and stronger. It was about to become a giant instead of a bug.